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NJ Workers’ Compensation Judge Rules Claimant Entitled to Insurance Coverage for Medical Marijuana

NJ Workers’ Compensation Judge Rules Claimant Entitled to Insurance Coverage for Medical Marijuana

Author: Daniel T. McKillopDate: August 1, 2018

An injured municipal worker is entitled to insurance coverage for medical marijuana, according to a recent decision by a New Jersey workers’ compensation judge. In reaching its decision, the judge rejected the argument that it's unconstitutional for a court to order an insurance carrier to pay for treatment because it conflicts with federal law.

In McNeary v. Township of Freehold, Steven McNeary, who suffers from muscular spasticity, sought a court order requiring the insurance carrier for Freehold Township to pay for his medical marijuana treatment. However, the insurer refused, arguing that the CSA’s criminalization of marijuana trumps state-level laws. In support, it cited Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper, in which the Maine Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that ordered a carrier to subsidize an injured worker’s medical marijuana based on federal preemption by the CSA.

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